Seat Belt Tickets
Now and then potential clients tell me they got a ticket for not wearing their seat belt and they wonder if there is anything I can do for them. Unfortunately, I almost always say no. Why? First, by statute, conviction of a seat belt violation does not cause one’s insurance to go up nor does it result in any driver’s license points. N.C.G.S. Section 135-2A(f). That’s what most folks are interested in, so there is nothing that we’d have to “reduce it to” to keep their insurance from going up. Second, I have observed over the course of almost 29 years of practicing law that when people plead not guilty to seat belt charges, they are almost always found guilty. In fact, as I sit here writing this, I cannot remember the last time I saw a judge find someone not guilty in a seat belt case. I have seen many people found not guilty of more serious cases, such as DWI, but not seat belt violations.
About the only way I can get a seat belt charge dismissed is if the person is charged with something in addition to the seat belt charge. In such a case, the D.A.’s office will sometimes dismiss the seat belt charge if the client will plead guilty to the other charge.